Anti-Semitism: Anti-Semitism in the Egyptian Media
October 17, 1997
September 17, 1998 marks twenty years since the signing of the Camp David Accords. This landmark agreement set the stage for the Israel-Egypt peace treaty six months later, which states, "The Parties shall seek to foster mutual understanding and tolerance and will, accordingly, abstain from hostile propaganda against each other." (Article 5 (3) of Annex III)
Despite two decades of peace, anti-Semitic themes permeate the official Egyptian media.
Four recurrent themes are discernible: classic anti-Semitic stereotypes, comparisons of Israel with the Nazis, denial of the Holocaust, and traditional libels.
The official Egyptian media repeatedly questions the extent of the Holocaust and accuses Jews of inflating the number of victims to pressure Western countries. It also equate Israel with the Nazis and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Adolf Hitler.
Jews are referred to as "swindlers" and "tricksters" in newspaper articles. Political cartoons depict Israel as the "ugly Jew", bearing a remarkable likeness to that used in the Nazi Der Stuermer.
Israel is accused of spreading AIDS and other diseases in Arab countries, and of attempting to foment civil war in Egypt. After the terrorist attack at Luxor, in which 60 tourists were killed, the Egyptian media sought to implicate Israel in the attack.
Following are excerpts from articles in the official Egyptian press of the past year and a collection of cartoons.* Egyptian weekly Roz Al-Yusuf, August 24, 1998
(article entitled, "Senior Arab League Official Tells Us: The Story of the Israeli Blood Tainted with AIDS")
- "A reliable source at the Arab League provided details of the report circulated by the League to its member states warning of imported blood units contaminated with the AIDS virus, hepatitis and bilharzia. They were manufactured by an Austrian company and Israel treated the blood units before they were sent to Arab and Third World nations... The question is: Is Israel waging chemical and biological warfare against the Arab states and Islam?"
* Egyptian daily Al-Akhbar, July 24, 1998
(article by Wajya Abu Thawkri, one of the newspaper's leading journalists)
- "Israelis have built their state upon a collection of myths with no truthful basis. Hence, the Zionist organizations were struck with fear when Roger Garaudy [a French Holocaust revisionist] wrote about the myth of the extermination of Jews in ovens by the Nazis in World War II."
* Egyptian daily Al-Akhbar, July 14, 1998
(article by Dr. Hassan Ragav)
- "The Zionist movement is a racist political movement. The State of Israel is a state based on blackmail. Zionism has elevated the Holocaust to a sacred level and uses it for the purposes of blackmail... even if the ovens at Buchenwald and Auschwitz were working day and night, it would have taken dozens of years to kill six million people, and not just the three years which the Nazis had..."
* Egyptian daily Al-Ahram, July 1, 1998
(article stating that Israel should pay compensation to Egypt for natural resources taken from the Sinai just as the Jews are demanding compensation for the possessions of Holocaust victims)
- "Israel sought to exploit the natural resources of the Sinai peninsula just as Nazi Germany acted in the territories which it occupied... Israel can not avoid payment of compensation to Egypt so long as she is blackmailing money from the United States and other countries with the claim that Jews during the Holocaust were eliminated in ovens and all their property was confiscated."
* Egyptian daily Al-Akhbar, June 16, 1998
(article by the newspaper's chief editor, Jalal Dawidar, claiming that Israeli society is racist in nature)
- "Racism poses a threat to the Jewish State. Thus, all Israeli governments act to preserve an air of tension and a militant, aggressive atmosphere in order to prevent an outbreak of clashes and struggles within Israel itself. For this purpose, Israeli governments act to ignite civil wars in neighboring countries. The Egyptian people are absolutely convinced that Israel has a role in igniting such civil wars... Israel was behind the attack at Luxor [in which 60 tourists were killed by terrorists] in order to sow division in the Egyptian nation."
* Egyptian daily Al-Arab Al-Yom, June 9, 1998
(article by Al-Sid Ali Al-Sid)
- "As for the Jews today, there is no difference between rigid or flexible. They are all the same, the difference being whether they kill a person with a thick, hard-bladed knife or by placing him on the electric chair... it is possible to deter these swindlers and tricksters and foil their schemes..."
* Egyptian daily Al-Ahram, June 1, 1998
- "It is difficult to ignore the racial discrimination which characterizes the State of Israel or the extent to which this racism has penetrated Israeli society. This racial fanaticism is the same fanaticism that Israel transferred to the land of Palestine after experiencing it at the hands of the Nazis. It is now trying to impose the history of the Jews on the Arabs by expelling them from their lands and even destroying their race as much as possible."
* Egyptian daily Al-Ahram, May 27, 1998
(article by retired Ambassador Muhammad Said al-Sayeed calling for the establishment of a Museum of the Crimes of Zionism)
- "The crimes of the Jews are worse than the crimes of the Nazis. Nazi Germany carried out its crimes to create an empire, but it did not last more than 6 years. By contrast, the Jews have been carrying out their crimes for 50 years to establish their state which has not yet been erased... anyone who disputes the number of victims, which they estimate to be 6 million, is likely to be tried or exposed to intellectual terrorism just as Roger Garaudy [French Holocaust revisionist] was."
* Egyptian daily Al-Ahram, May 13, 1998
(article by Salama Ahmed Salama quoting a saying from the book of Dr. Abed Wahab Masiri regarding Israel's jubilee celebrations)
- "There is a great Jewish plot to gain control of the world."
* Egyptian daily Al-Ahram, February 2, 1998
(article by the Chief Editor of the French-language Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram Habdo, Muhammad Salmawi, which appeared in the French and Arabic language editions of Al-Ahram. The title of the article is "Find the Jews").
- "There are no findings to indicate the existence of mass graves, because the size of the ovens makes it impossible for many Jews to have been killed there. According to the lists presented by the Soviets to the Germans, no more than 70,000 Jews were registered as having been at Auschwitz."
* Egyptian daily Al-Akhbar, December 21, 1997
(article about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu entitled "The New Hitler")
- "And so the New Hitler is redrawing the map of the region and decides to swallow all of the territories which he desires."
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Source: Israel Government Press Office